I am delighted as Chair of the Friends to welcome you to our website. Bushy Park and Home Park are two wonderful large green oases in the south west corner of London. Feeling wild, they are natural places with ancient histories, fascinating heritage and superb wildlife. Both are Sites of Special Scientific Interest (SSSIs) containing rare species. These are places to be enjoyed and conserved. Which is why the Friends exist, campaigning, supporting and protecting the parks, and enhancing visitors’ enjoyment with information, advice and guidance.
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Formally, according to our constitution, The Friends of Bushy and Home Parks exist to ensure the preservation, promotion, support, assistance and improvement of Bushy Park and Home Park.
To those ends we promote the public enjoyment and knowledge of the two parks.
We do this through conserving and protecting their characters, history, heritage, wildlife, habitats, woodlands, grasslands and gardens. We promote free public access. We represent users of the parks, liaising with those responsible for their management and financing. We advocate and campaign to influence changes in the law or public policy as these affect the parks. We raise funds for projects to maintain or restore the fabric and features of the parks.
We try to ensure the parks remain beautiful, peaceful, green spaces that can be enjoyed and respected by all.
The Friends watch over the Parks and their wildlife, reporting problems and encouraging improvements. We liaise with park managers and police. The Friends’ committee considers proposals for development in and around the Parks, opposing planning applications for structures that would spoil the views from the Parks or their rural character.
We promote awareness of the historic and environmental significance of the Parks through a programme of talks and walks, presented or led by experts in their fields. Access to these events is free to everyone, although donations are always welcome. Volunteers from the Friends staff the Information Point at the Pheasantry.
An important part of The Friends work is raising money to improve the Parks, and our Annual Appeals raise money for particular practical projects. For example, we have supported improvements to the Environmental Education Centre which provides opportunities for school children and other groups to study and explore Bushy Park. Other examples include new tree and shrub plantings, interpretation boards and owl and bat boxes.
Visit the Annual appeals section.
We are a registered charity, dependent on those who volunteer to be trustees and help our activities. Our running costs are low so that we can attract a wide membership and channel any funds we raise to benefit the Parks and those who enjoy them.
The Friends of Bushy and Home Parks was founded in 1990 as a response to plans to cut down and replant the historic Chestnut Avenue in Bushy Park. There was a public outcry at this threat to the Park’s most conspicuous and historic feature.
A successful campaign was launched that saved the chestnut trees, but it soon became clear that the Parks were not only threatened by the chain-saw but also by cut backs in funding and plans for commercial schemes. Thus the Friends took on the more general aims of helping to preserve and enhance the Parks, and increasing public awareness and enjoyment of these invaluable assets. One element of this has been to work to maintain free access to the Parks, including playing a leading role in reversing a decision to impose parking charges in Bushy Park.
We were instrumental in promoting the restoration of the Water Gardens – a project that eventually became a keystone in the more extensive Bushy Park Restoration of recent years.
An early initiative was in support of the revival of the Chestnut Sunday Parade that was so popular at the turn of the nineteenth century.
NEW MEMBERS ARE MOST WELCOME. Do join us whether you wish to attend meetings and social gatherings or to give active help with the running of the organisation, or simply to stay in touch with what is happening in the Parks. The Parks, through the Friends, need your support.
With more members our voice is stronger when we campaign to protect the Parks, and with more subscription income we can do more to provide information and education about the Parks, their wildlife and their history.
Join us today!
7.30 pm in The Garden Room at Hampton Court Palace.
Over 50 people took part in the Deer Walk in Bushy Park on 3rd September 2016.Full report...
The Information Point next to the Pheasantry Welcome Centre café is where our volunteers help visitors to find out more about the parks and where visitors can purchase souvenirs of your visit to support our work.
Click this panel to visit our Information Point section and also to find out how you can get involved as a volunteer.